Today. What can I say about today? Today marks one of the craziest and worst days of my life. The past few years this day comes and goes and I do not even remember what day it is until several days later. The past couple years though it has started a week of loss. A loss so profound that it started me on a new path of discovery. March 19, 2021 I lost the last of my Boxers that I had raised from a puppy. Little Jack had been with me through thick and thin. I had raised his grandmother (Taylor), his mom (Dixie), his aunt (Bumble), and his cousins (Spot and Patch). But when I lost him, I decided to start on a new path in my nursing career. Then last year I lost my other Boxer, who was mine but she was really my nephews, on March 16, 2022, just days before Little Jack’s one year death anniversary and a few days after the death of someone that I loved and still love deeply.

They say time heals all wounds and as a hospice nurse, I can tell you that time does not really heal those wounds but lessens them. This year the 21st year of losing that love of my life hit harder than most years. I think it is because as Little Jack set me on the new path of travel nursing, I am alone. I am far from family and friends. I do not even believe that my family or friends remember this day being hard for me. I went to bed on March 12, 2002 and woke up the next morning to go with my sister to take my two nephews to their pediatrician appointment on Tuesday, March 13, 2002. I never expected to not see Thomas again and to become a widow at 38. I do not want anyone’s pity or sympathy. I want you to know that it is hard and that you can get through it. Stop feeling like the world is against you. I want to scream at the top of my lungs to those who are 1 year, 2 years, or even 10+ years out from losing someone, that they are gone but not forgotten. Get on with your life! You will always have them in your heart and soul. Would that person really want you to continue mourning years later. I know Thomas is always with me and would want me to continue with my life. Which is what I did. I remarried but that did not work out. I have become comfortable and contented with myself. I worked on myself and came to love me. Me for all the craziness and messiness that I am. Not everyone understands me or even loves me but that does not matter because I love myself.

I still hurt, cry, and wonder where Thomas and I would be if he would have lived. But you know, those days are very rare except on his anniversary. Then I become contemplative and silent. Silent knowing that the universe if far larger than my grief. Silent knowing that the grief has made me a better person and maybe a more caring person. It also has maybe made me a little “harder” as well. I would love for people to remember but they do not and that is okay as well. It is my sadness but also my happiness. I know one day I will be able to hold him again as well as see my Mama and Daddy. Happiness also because I had that complete bliss for a few months. Not everyone gets to experience that and I am thankful that I did. I miss him every day but when I feel a breeze across my face or see a hawk soaring overhead, then I know he is with me.

Thomas used to have a saying: “we will cross that bridge when we come to it” which is on his headstone. And we all face that bridge sooner or later in life. I try and be a guiding light to my hospice families and help them through the darkness knowing there is that bridge they need to face. Having faced one bridge (I know there are still many more for me to cross), I am continuously seeking to be a better and stronger person.

So for today, March 13, 2023, I will sit in silence and cry if that is what I need to do. But I know that tomorrow is another day and we cannot live in the past but move forward into the future. However, please remember today is precious and one that is to be cherished. Tell your loved ones that you love them and look to the sun and the moon for they are always there even on the cloudiest of days. Live your life and know that you are loved!